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Proposed characterization of tornadoes and hurricanes by area and intensity

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Proposed characterization of tornadoes and hurricanes by area and intensity


Published February 1, 1971
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Results of the 1968 through 1970 Tornado Watch Experiment conducted jointly by NASA and NOAA suggested the necessity of characterizing individual tornadoes in order to improve the identity of tornado-producing nephsystems. An attempt was made, therefore, to categorize each tornado by its intensity and area. Fujita-scale wind and corresponding damage categories were devised to classify tornadoes as Gale (F0), Weak (F1), Strong (F2), Severe (F3), Devastating (F4), and Incredible (F5). Additionally, individual tornado areas were also categorized as Trace (TR), Decimicro (DM), Micro (MI), Meso (ME), Marco (MA), Giant (GI), and Decagiant (DG), thus permitting characterizing of a tornado by a combination of intensity and area, such as weak decimicro tornado, severe meso tornado, or incredible giant tornado. A test characterization of 156 Japanese tornadoes in 1950-69 was accomplished for comparison with 893 U.S. tornadoes in 1965. Unexpectedly, the percentage distribution of intensity and individual area of U.S. and Japanese tornadoes is very similar except for large and/or intense ones. Intensity distribution within the Dallas and Fargo tornadoes of 1957 was also studied in detail. It was also found that the F-scale variation along the paths of family tornadoes shows an intensity oscillation with a 45-min interval.


Year 1971
Language English
Book contributor NASA
Collection nasa_techdocs

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